Unexpected Vineyard Resources: Cheryl Warren
It was Monday, and I was the only one in the office.
Shortly after 9 a.m. came the first call of the day. I answered, ready to "resource" the person on the other end. The woman's voice on the phone was hesitant: "Is this Vineyard?"
"Yes,” I said. "How can I help you?"
And with no introduction, the sweet lady started talking. Her name was Mary. She told me about reading a book by Bill Johnson that led her to some notes from Randy Clark that led her to a guy named “John … how do you pronounce his last name?" Wimber … which led her to "the YouTube," where she heard John teaching on the signs and wonders of the kingdom. It was one continuous sentence with no breath. When she got to the part about YouTube, she started to weep.
"I knew there was more!" she said. "I knew there was more, and I just don't understand why the Lord waited so long to show me. What that man is saying on the video is so true, and I've got to hear more! I just knew I should call this number. Can you help me get some tapes or something … anything?"
I should add that working in a place that is the only place folks can get some of the most valuable kingdom resources in the world carries with it a sort of sacred trust. People call us in various states of life change. They immediately "trust" us with intimate details which are typically not shared with a businessperson taking your order over the phone. Sometimes it pays not to be Amazon.
I responded to this woman with words of comfort and assurance I would get her the full audio versions of John Wimber's “Signs and Wonders” series. It was so awesome to know I could meet her need. She continued to share how she grew up; she had never attended a church that taught what she had seen Wimber teaching. She said she wished she had known sooner. I encouraged her with something about God's timing and then asked if I could pray for her. Another perk of my job is getting to say the seven-word "Can I pray for you right now?" invitation.
"Yes, can I share some of the issues?" she said. She started in 2010. I got out a notepad. The woman was sharp, giving quick descriptions of damaged heart valves, disintegrating cartilage in many joints and ended with her daughter, a former street drug addict now addicted to prescription painkillers. She was quick and good. I took notes so I could cover the details.
I asked the Holy Spirit to come, and Mary started gently weeping. I asked in Jesus' words, "Let your kingdom come on earth ... in the room with Mary." I spoke to the valves and tissues and pain and commanded healing, which is not my norm, but I’m practicing. It was a big faith step for me. Mary wept a little louder, and I waited on the Spirit. I kept wanting to speak in tongues but I didn't know Mary's background.
Finally I asked if she spoke in tongues, and she said yes. I told her I was just going to pray in tongues a minute out loud. I prayed, and she began to wail, really wail. It was deep with anguish. I figured I should keep praying in tongues ... nothing fancy, but peaceful and sweet. Mary was undone.
Minutes passed as grief and anguish flowed out of Mary. I knew something was breaking off of her. I began to pray in English for peace, and her wailing went back to gentle weeping before I said, “Amen.”
Continuing in some of the Vineyard patterns of prayer, I asked if she could share how she was feeling. She said, "I feel as though I've been born again ... again!" She repeated those words and wept joyfully. I asked if she had any pain left. She said, "Honey, I feel no pain!!" More joy. She said she had hurt all over before the pain, but now there was none. Now I was crying.
We thanked God together, and I shared a word I had received about her future with the Spirit and the things she was learning. She said she was 70 years old, and that she had believed God was through with her and asked him to take her home.
“Now I am so glad I stayed!” she said.
We ended our conversation with address confirmation and gushing words of love as new sisters that may never meet. When I hung up the phone, I thought, “Now that is why we are here!”
I went on with work, took a few less climactic calls from customers, and wondered if Mary would call back. She did.
I answered, and she said again without introduction, “Cheryl, it’s Mary. I won’t take long, because I know you’re working, but I just have to ask ... what broke off of me? When you started praying in tongues, I was knocked out of my chair. Did he tell you what it was?”
I told her I knew while praying that it was something, but I didn’t know what, and asked her if she felt she had to know. She laughed and sheepishly said God had already told her she didn’t need to know, but she called anyway. After exchanging blessings again, we said goodbye, and I cried again.
I’m so grateful to help folks get resources. I’m so grateful for the Vineyard.
Cheryl Warren, Vineyard Resources
submitted October 3rd, 2012